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Author Topic: Ranger roller cam retarded one tooth? WTH? Why?  (Read 527 times)

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Offline 71pintoracer

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Ranger roller cam retarded one tooth? WTH? Why?
« on: December 04, 2020, 05:03:52 PM »
Hello everyone! So l'm new to the turbo game, since l totaled my 71 V8 car and am currently building a cruising wagon l ran across a 77 cruising wagon with an 88 T-Bird turbo swap. l decided to buy it to have a Pinto to drive while building my new car. The guy told me he had put a ranger roller cam in it. Well the valve cover gasket was leaking a little bit and it was due for an oil change so l figure this is a good time to make sure it's a roller, otherwise l'm going to have to use racing oil with zinc in it. So it does have a roller, but l also decided to check the cam timing because quite honestly, l think this car it a turtle!  ;D  So l get it on TDC and the cam is retarded 1 tooth! Really? Did he just screw up when he timed it? Well l'm thinking hell yeah no wonder it's a turtle! So l set the cam to 0 and go for a test drive and l swear it didn't seem to make any difference! Maybe slower? Really? l mean l really expected a huge difference! l know, l know, l need to get my G-Meter on it and make some test runs but l'm just totally confused. l really don't know much about the car but he did tell me it has a bigger turbo and a stock tune and a performance tune that is on a toggle switch. l don't feel any difference but again, l haven't made ant test runs, just seat of the pants. To me, the bigger turbo was a mistake because it doesn't build boost until about 3400 rpm and the rev limiter is at 6200. So anyway, back to the main question, is there any reason to run the cam retarded? Or did he just screw up?  :-\
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Offline 71pintoracer

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Re: Ranger roller cam retarded one tooth? WTH? Why?
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2020, 05:14:08 PM »



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Offline Wittsend

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Re: Ranger roller cam retarded one tooth? WTH? Why?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2020, 03:18:09 PM »
I find the timing marks to be very vague on that shifting plastic housing. Every time I replace the belt I mark the belt and pully's then transfer to the new belt. If it ran decent before it was assumed correct. The "tune" switch is actually factory. Off is for regular gas and On is for Premium gas and it controls the boost (maybe timing and fuel too???).


As to the Ranger cam, it actually has less lift than the factory slider cam. I believe the results (air flow) come out similar because the roller aspect allows for a "fatter" cam where the duration may be similar but at any given point (for the most part) it is at a higher lift on the ramp. I hope I didn't confuse you. The lift on the roller is lower overall but MOST of the way up the ramp it is higher at a matched duration to the slider cam. That is something the roller allows for that would likely be excessive on a slider cam. At least that is what I have been told.


My '73 wagon has a similar set up as yours. '88 T/C engine (stock otherwise) and a T-5 with 3.40 gears and 205-60-13 tires. Even with the smaller IHI turbo (and it is even smaller than earlier turbos to spool up faster) it is like a N/A engine until the boost comes on. And it only comes on with a heavy foot around 2,500-3,000 RPM. And frankly there isn't much past 4,500-5,000 RPM. From my experience the "fun" (so to speak) with the turbo motor comes from a slow, steady pressing of the throttle after shifting out of the "granny" 1st gear. It seems to respond like a stock N/A engine at the beginning but at some point the boost feels like the car is rapidly gathering speed. Unfortunately by 5,000 RPM the E-Ticket ride is shortly over and you need to shift.


Originally I had 3.00 gears and 215-60-14" tires. Honestly from a performance perspective it was more enjoyable to drive. You stayed in a given gear much longer and you could feel that "gathering speed" aspect for a much longer time between shifts. And the car never felt any slower for it.  However, on the surface streets at posted speed limits the car never seemed to have the right gear. One gear was too low and the next up was too much bog. So, That is why I went to the 3.40 and 205-60-13" tires. Everyday driving is far better now but the performance aspect is as stated above where the car blips in and out of boost for the all too soon shift. It seems you can have one, but not the other.







Offline 71pintoracer

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Re: Ranger roller cam retarded one tooth? WTH? Why?
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2020, 09:27:52 AM »
l agree the factory marks can be off a little bit but for a stock set-up they're close enough. l have a set of cam degree tools from my racing days and no question it was one tooth off. l know about the premium fuel switch and he said that's what they used to switch from stock to performance tune. ln other words they enhanced the premium fuel setting. Anyway it would be nice for the boost to come in at a much lower rpm because it really could use more low end power. To compare (l know, apples and oranges) l have a Fusion with a 2.0 Ecoboost that has a really small turbo and builds boost right away. lt is a fun car to drive and will smoke the Pinto like a cheap cigar. lt's stock other than a cat-back and it runs low 9's in the 1/8th with a best of 9.29.
At any rate l was just wondering if there was some advantage to running late cam timing on a turbo. l wouldn't think so?
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Offline Wittsend

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Re: Ranger roller cam retarded one tooth? WTH? Why?
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2020, 12:50:05 PM »
I'm just not versed on anything beyond stock. I know there are a few Turbo Pinto people who have been here. 65 Shelby Cobra seems to modify beyond stock. Maybe he can give you more info. That said I only see him post only ever so often.  Maybe NATO or the Ranger Station would be of help.

Offline 65ShelbyClone

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Re: Ranger roller cam retarded one tooth? WTH? Why?
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2020, 09:40:38 PM »
So anyway, back to the main question, is there any reason to run the cam retarded? Or did he just screw up?  :-\

It's popular to retard the Ranger roller a lot improve the top end because it's a truck cam that doesn't rev all that well. A full tooth is too much, but perhaps not for someone who only has a stock cam pulley.

Quote
To me, the bigger turbo was a mistake because it doesn't build boost until about 3400 rpm and the rev limiter is at 6200.
On a stock 2.3T that is definitely a mistake. Your '88 engine would have come with the small IHI turbo that starts making boost in the low 2000s. It would be a good idea to find out what turbo the PO put on there. I can help ID with a decent picture or three.
A stock 2.3T is going to have a hard time making making power out to 6000. Ford rated the peak at about 4800.

l know about the premium fuel switch and he said that's what they used to switch from stock to performance tune.
That's not exactly how it works. The premium fuel mode is stock. That's what the engine makes it's rated output on. All the regular fuel mode does is limit boost to the wastegate setting (10psi is stock) instead of 15psi on the boost control solenoid and it reduces a timing multiplier. The knock sensor then makes it pull even more timing if knock is detected in either mode. The fueling stays very rich under boost either way. The ECU doesn't do anything as sophisticated as map switching.
'72 Runabout - 2.3T, T5, MegaSquirt-II, 8", 5-lugs, big brakes.
'68 Mustang - Built roller 302, Toploader, 9", etc.

Offline Wittsend

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Re: Ranger roller cam retarded one tooth? WTH? Why?
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2020, 12:06:28 PM »


 The fueling stays very rich under boost either way. The ECU doesn't do anything as sophisticated as map switching.




Sometimes I forget how OLD these engines (and their engine management systems) are. Like the original poster mine is an '88 T/C engine. The '88's were the last of the T/C's and yet they are now 32 years old!!! When I bought my T/C back in late 1993 it was only 5 years old. In some ways it is a surprise the ECU's even work at all (I do have two spare LA-3's, just in case).


 - I also have a '63 Rambler American. The 196 OHV engine was last built in 1965 (55 years ago) and the design dates back to the flathead it was upgraded off of to 1940. That is 80 years ago! The 145 CID engine in my Corvair wagon is 60 years old. At this point I'm not sure what seems older, me, or my cars. We are both dented and rusting.

Offline 71pintoracer

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Re: Ranger roller cam retarded one tooth? WTH? Why?
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2020, 07:01:09 PM »

Thanks for the replies. Here is a picture of the turbo. This car has a Ron Francis harness so I donít know if it still uses the regular/ premium switch. The boost goes to 15 psi on either setting. I really donít ďfeel ď any difference. The pcm has a slot cut out of it and has wires coming out of it so something has been done.
I do have a stage one Racer Walsh cam, not sure what the specs are or if it would be better than the ranger cam. But itís a slider cam so l would have to buy a set of rockers to use it. And use oil with zinc. Neither is a big deal.


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Offline 65ShelbyClone

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Re: Ranger roller cam retarded one tooth? WTH? Why?
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2020, 09:27:49 PM »
It looks like an ebay Garrett knockoff. Knowing anything beyond that would require getting measurements from the compressor and turbine wheels. The raised rectangular boss on the engine side is where any info would have been engraved. Chinese copies are seldom exact copies, seldom as-described, and frequently have terrible compressor/turbine wheel combinations.
My suspicion is that it has roughly a T04E-57 compressor and some turbine wheel & housing that's mismatched to it.

Sometimes I forget how OLD these engines (and their engine management systems) are. Like the original poster mine is an '88 T/C engine. The '88's were the last of the T/C's and yet they are now 32 years old!!!
And by '87 the 2.3T ECU had already been upgraded to a single-board design with surface-mount components and much faster processing.
'72 Runabout - 2.3T, T5, MegaSquirt-II, 8", 5-lugs, big brakes.
'68 Mustang - Built roller 302, Toploader, 9", etc.

Offline 71pintoracer

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Re: Ranger roller cam retarded one tooth? WTH? Why?
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2020, 09:33:44 PM »
So basically itís junk. I figured as much. So what do you think about changing to the stage one cam?


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Offline 65ShelbyClone

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Re: Ranger roller cam retarded one tooth? WTH? Why?
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2021, 06:57:01 PM »
So basically itís junk. I figured as much.
Hard to determine without more information. Generally speaking, the stock turbo is best for a stock engine.

Quote
So what do you think about changing to the stage one cam?
I'm having trouble finding the specs.
'72 Runabout - 2.3T, T5, MegaSquirt-II, 8", 5-lugs, big brakes.
'68 Mustang - Built roller 302, Toploader, 9", etc.

Offline 71pintoracer

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Re: Ranger roller cam retarded one tooth? WTH? Why?
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2021, 07:05:06 PM »
I donít know exactly but itís a
 .420 lift. Iím sure it has better duration as well. Stage one is what RW called it.


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Re: Ranger roller cam retarded one tooth? WTH? Why?
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2021, 06:56:57 PM »
Probably better than stock, but I don't think it's going to compensate much for the slow turbo spool.

The pcm has a slot cut out of it and has wires coming out of it so something has been done.
I missed this earlier and it's curious indeed. All the EEC-IV ECUs have an access slot in the end opposite the harness plug. It comes with a small plate over it secured with a screw. That access slot covers the J3 port which is the only way to "chip" a stock EEC-IV computer. Various companies made them back in the '90s and Moates is the only one still doing it AFAIK. Some did allow for table switching.
'72 Runabout - 2.3T, T5, MegaSquirt-II, 8", 5-lugs, big brakes.
'68 Mustang - Built roller 302, Toploader, 9", etc.